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Students working with biology researcher Bonnie Blazer-Yost

Research

Research & Scientific Expertise
Current research is being undertaken in the following areas: 
 

Biochemistry

Lata Balakrishnan - The Balakrishnan lab focuses on understanding the mechanistic reactions of eukaryotic lagging strand DNA synthesis, and the accompanying DNA repair processes.  

AJ Baucum - In the Baucum laboratory, we use biochemistry, electrophysiology, proteomics, and behavioral measures to study synaptic proteins that regulate normal signal transduction pathways in neurons. These synaptic proteins are indispensable for myriad learned behaviors, from motor coordination and learning to memory. Our laboratory uses genetically engineered animals to determine the function of the protein phosphatase 1 targeting proteins, spinophilin and neurabin, in different brain regions and cell types on regulating motor and non-motor learning.

Ted Cummins - The Cummins lab research focuses on cellular and molecular determinants of electrical excitability.  In particular, the role of voltage-gated sodium channels in human diseases such as epilepsy and pain are being investigated.

David Skalnik - The Skalnik lab's research focuses on the fundamental epigenetic regulatory mechanisms that control chromatin structure and gene expression during mammalian development.  Emphasis is on CXXC finger protein 1, a factor that regulates both cytosine and histone methylation and is essential for stem cell differentiation in a variety of cellular contexts.

 

Cell Biology

AJ Baucum - In the Baucum laboratory, we use biochemistry, electrophysiology, proteomics, and behavioral measures to study synaptic proteins that regulate normal signal transduction pathways in neurons. These synaptic proteins are indispensable for myriad learned behaviors, from motor coordination and learning to memory. Our laboratory uses genetically engineered animals to determine the function of the protein phosphatase 1 targeting proteins, spinophilin and neurabin, in different brain regions and cell types on regulating motor and non-motor learning.

Teri Belecky-Adams - The Belecky-Adams laboratory examines several aspects of visual system function, including 1) the dynamics of chromatin organization in retinal and optic nerve development and disease, 2) understanding the photoreceptor in health and disease, 3) the regeneration of the retina and optic nerve.  Our findings can be directly translated into new preventative and therapeutic tools for the treatment of such diseases as glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, and Joubert syndrome.

Nicolas Berbari - The Berbari lab studies small hair-like cellular appendages called primary cilia. Cilia dysfunction is associated with a growing group of rare genetic disorders collectively called the ciliopathies.  By studying models of ciliopathies we will reveal more about their basic biology and ultimately contribute to our understanding of more common clinical features observed in the ciliopathies such as obesity, retinal degeneration and cognitive deficits. The current focus of the lab is to understand how primary cilia found on neurons in the brain are important for regulating appetite and feeding behavior.

Bonnie Blazer-Yost - The Blazer-Yost research group is investigating the development of hydrocephalus or "water on the brain".  While most notable in newborns, hydrocephalus can occur at any age as a result of stroke, infection, traumatic brain injury or neurodegenerative disease.  We are using cell culture and animal models to study hydrocephalus with a long-term goal of developing the first pharmaceutical treatment for the disease.

Ted Cummins - The Cummins lab research focuses on cellular and molecular determinants of electrical excitability.  In particular, the role of voltage-gated sodium channels in human diseases such as epilepsy and pain are being investigated.

Guoli Dai - The Dai laboratory's research focuses on understanding the regulation of the cell cycle of proliferating hepatocytes and hepatic progenitor cell activities in liver physiology and pathology. Major approaches include partial hepatectomy-induced hepatocyte replication and in vivo fate tracing of hepatic progenitor cells.   

Jiliang Li - The Li laboratory research activities include understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of mechanotransduction, the process of conversion of mechanical signals into biological signals in bone cells, and studying cell based therapy for bone fracture repair and tissue regeneration.

James Marrs - The Marrs lab's research uses zebrafish to model fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS; the most severe clinically defined birth defect syndrome caused by prenatal ethanol exposure, which is a subset of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, FASD, an inclusive term for all defects induced by perinatal maternal ethanol consumption).  A detailed understanding of alcohol-induced birth defects will guide us toward future clinical interventions.

Jason Meyer - The Meyer lab focuses on the use of human pluripotent stem cells for studies of mechanisms underlying neurogenesis as well as neurodegeneration in diseases including Glaucoma and Alzheimer's Disease.

Benjamin Perrin - The Perrin laboratory studies the organization, turnover and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton in sensory cells of the inner ear. 

Developmental Biology

Teri Belecky-Adams - The Belecky-Adams laboratory examines several aspects of visual system function, including 1) the dynamics of chromatin organization in retinal and optic nerve development and disease, 2) understanding the photoreceptor in health and disease, 3) the regeneration of the retina and optic nerve.  Our findings can be directly translated into new preventative and therapeutic tools for the treatment of such diseases as glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, and Joubert syndrome.

James Marrs - The Marrs lab's research uses zebrafish to model fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS; the most severe clinically defined birth defect syndrome caused by prenatal ethanol exposure, which is a subset of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, FASD, an inclusive term for all defects induced by perinatal maternal ethanol consumption).  A detailed understanding of alcohol-induced birth defects will guide us toward future clinical interventions.

Jason Meyer - The Meyer lab focuses on the use of human pluripotent stem cells for studies of mechanisms underlying neurogenesis as well as neurodegeneration in diseases including Glaucoma and Alzheimer's Disease.

Benjamin Perrin - The Perrin laboratory studies the organization, turnover and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton in sensory cells of the inner ear.  

Randall Roper - The Roper Lab seeks to understand how three copies of genes on chromosome 21 cause skeletal and cognitive traits that are associated with Down syndrome.  The laboratory uses mouse models of Down syndrome, cell culture and data from individuals with Trisomy 21 to test important hypotheses about gene dosage and the mechanisms and treatments of Down syndrome related traits. The goal of the lab is to improve the lives of individuals with Down syndrome while preparing outstanding individuals for careers in research, teaching, medicine through excellent training, experiences and mentoring.

David Skalnik - The Skalnik lab's research focuses on the fundamental epigenetic regulatory mechanisms that control chromatin structure and gene expression during mammalian development.  Emphasis is on CXXC finger protein 1, a factor that regulates both cytosine and histone methylation and is essential for stem cell differentiation in a variety of cellular contexts.

 

Genetics

Gregory Anderson - The Anderson Lab's research focuses on the molecular details of how bacteria cause disease. We identify the genes responsible for pathogenesis and test mutants of these genes for effects on infection. We are particularly interested in how biofilm formation affects the bacteria and the host.

AJ Baucum - In the Baucum laboratory, we use biochemistry, electrophysiology, proteomics, and behavioral measures to study synaptic proteins that regulate normal signal transduction pathways in neurons. These synaptic proteins are indispensable for myriad learned behaviors, from motor coordination and learning to memory. Our laboratory uses genetically engineered animals to determine the function of the protein phosphatase 1 targeting proteins, spinophilin and neurabin, in different brain regions and cell types on regulating motor and non-motor learning.

Nicolas Berbari - The Berbari lab studies small hair-like cellular appendages called primary cilia. Cilia dysfunction is associated with a growing group of rare genetic disorders collectively called the ciliopathies.  By studying models of ciliopathies we will reveal more about their basic biology and ultimately contribute to our understanding of more common clinical features observed in the ciliopathies such as obesity, retinal degeneration and cognitive deficits. The current focus of the lab is to understand how primary cilia found on neurons in the brain are important for regulating appetite and feeding behavior.

Jason Meyer - The Meyer lab focuses on the use of human pluripotent stem cells for studies of mechanisms underlying neurogenesis as well as neurodegeneration in diseases including Glaucoma and Alzheimer's Disease.

Christine Picard - The Picard lab's research focuses on genotype-phenotype correlations in insects.  We do so by assembling and understanding the structure of the insects' genome.  Our lab has many focus areas, such as understanding the genetic contributor to development rate variation to the sex determination mechanisms in blow flies.  Furthermore, we have begun research in the area of using insects (= blow flies) as sensors to chemical and biological environment for any given area on Earth.  Our lab uses a combination of basic bioinformatics approaches coupled with standard molecular labs methods. 

Randall Roper - The Roper Lab seeks to understand how three copies of genes on chromosome 21 cause skeletal and cognitive traits that are associated with Down syndrome.  The laboratory uses mouse models of Down syndrome, cell culture and data from individuals with Trisomy 21 to test important hypotheses about gene dosage and the mechanisms and treatments of Down syndrome related traits. The goal of the lab is to improve the lives of individuals with Down syndrome while preparing outstanding individuals for careers in research, teaching, medicine through excellent training, experiences and mentoring.

David Skalnik - The Skalnik lab's research focuses on the fundamental epigenetic regulatory mechanisms that control chromatin structure and gene expression during mammalian development.  Emphasis is on CXXC finger protein 1, a factor that regulates both cytosine and histone methylation and is essential for stem cell differentiation in a variety of cellular contexts.

Susan Walsh - The goal of the Walsh laboratory is to enhance our understanding of the genes that are responsible for human physical appearance characteristics and traits, and to assess the use of this information in the prediction of 'biological mugshots' for forensic and anthropological purposes. We are currently investigating quantitative pigmentation genetics to assign color quantities to genetic variances in addition to global-to-local segmentation of the human face to understand cranio-facial genetics. The laboratory uses genetics and bioinformatics techniques in tandem with an end goal to design individualized prediction models, tools and computer programs once we have a better fundamental understanding of these complex traits.

 

Research experience helps guide career choices for undergrad

Tomas Meijome Biology, Undergraduate